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Is air testing required in a modified atmosphere packaging food plant?


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#1 casc

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:54 AM

In a food plant using modified atmospheric packaging how do you test the air touching food and the equipment and is it required? I know the production air has not been tested in quite some time. When I asked the maintenance manager he said it kept coming back positive for mold, yeast, and coliform so he stopped testing completely. I honestly don't know how to handle that. :eek_yello: The manager said that sandwiches are made, breads have yeast, so naturally it will be positive. 



#2 Scampi

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 04:08 PM

That will depend on many factors IMO. Are you adding different air or simply removing the ambient air.

 

What kind of a plan allows for your maintenance manager to simply stop air testing in a RTE facility?


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#3 casc

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:26 PM

The production floor is maintained at 40 to 45 degrees. They have cooling units that run across the production floor. On a machine they run though a process takes place to extend shelf life where air is sucked out of the packaging and nitrogen added to extend shelf life. The oxygen is monitored by quality every hour, but the gases that are used are where I am stumped I guess. Does there need to be some verification on it? I asked maintenance if the filters were on a PM and they say they are but is that enough?



#4 Charles.C

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:56 AM

The production floor is maintained at 40 to 45 degrees. They have cooling units that run across the production floor. On a machine they run though a process takes place to extend shelf life where air is sucked out of the packaging and nitrogen added to extend shelf life. The oxygen is monitored by quality every hour, but the gases that are used are where I am stumped I guess. Does there need to be some verification on it? I asked maintenance if the filters were on a PM and they say they are but is that enough?

 

Hi kyk,

 

Sounds like Willy-Wonka.

 

Does the facility not have any SOPs ? SDS's ? Product specifications ?

 

i would assume USDA have to audit "something" for a  RTE process ?

 

As per Scampi's post -  Maintenance are responsible for micro.quality ? IMEX that would be a First-one. :smile:

 

IIRC, residual O2 level is the critical factor in a N2-only  gas-flush such as you describe. (discussed in several places on this Forum).


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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